Lewis Hamilton at loggerheads with Mercedes chief over ‘crazy’ contract demand
Lewis Hamilton compared to Schumacher by David Coulthard
The 2021 F1 season is fast approaching and a key part of Lewis Hamilton’s contract demand is reportedly something Ola Kallenius is not willing to agree to. Hamilton blew away his rivals once again last season to reaffirm his status as one of the sport’s all-time greats as he went on to win a record-equalling seventh world title.
His contract situation was comming knowledge even ahead of the new season, although Hamilton made it abundantly clear on numerous occasions that he wouldn’t be discussing an extension until the season had finished.
Speaking after his win at the Turkish Grand Prix back in November, Hamilton gave his biggest indication to date that he would sign a new deal.
“I feel like I’m only just getting started,” he said.
“It is really weird. I feel physically in great shape and mentally.”
JUST IN: Lewis Hamilton contract: What Ola Kallenius has said about F1 star
But fast forward a few months and no announcement has been made on when, or even if, Hamilton has penned an extension.
Reports have suggested that Hamilton isn’t willing to budge on his contract demands as he currently makes close to £40million-a-year.
That may not be a problem for Mercedes now after British chemical giant INEOS bought a third of the team to shake up their shareholders.
However, Il Corriere Dello Sport report head of Mercedes Kallenius is unhappy with one aspect of Hamilton’s contract demands.
As well as wanting the same wages as his previous deal, Hamilton is also said to be asking for an ambassadorial role within the team once he retires.
But Kallenius is reportedly not too keen on promising Hamilton more years beyond his driving career which could end up costing the car manufacturer a fortune.
How long Hamilton plans to stay in the sport also seems to be a key talking point in negotiations.
Despite being 35 years of age, Hamilton remains arguably the best driver on the grid and has repeatedly spoken of his desire to keep racing.
Valtteri Bottas has so far struggled to challenge the British racing icon in four years at Mercedes.
And the Finnish driver’s seat will be under serious threat from George Russell come the end of the season.
But Toto Wolff has previously downplayed the possibility of teaming Russell up with Hamilton, stating it could go “terribly wrong” if the Williams driver was promoted too early.
“I think that it can go terribly wrong – for a young driver who has the talent to become a world champion – if he’s thrown in that environment next to the best driver of his generation, who has been with us for seven years,” Wolff said when asked about Russell joining Mercedes back in 2019.
“I wouldn’t want to burn George. I think it would come too early.”
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